Television

Star's multi-screen Rio 2016 coverage gets thumbs up from viewers

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MUMBAI: With 191 million viewers tuning into watch the just concluded Rio Olympics in Brazil and every two out of three doing so on Star Sports channels, coupled with nearly 70 percent of the reach of television in affluent homes in the top 6 metros via digital platform Hotstar, it has been a gold medal performance from Star India.

This statement from Star India today when the media world is talking about a over US$ 350 million buyout of TEN Sports by Sony Pictures Network India, is important from the point of view of sports broadcasting in India. SPNI also runs co-branded sports channels with ESPN.

“For us, it is a matter of pride that Star Sports is the destination network for multi sports consumption in the country. Our endeavour to build a multi sports ecosystem is being rewarded with audience interest and attention not just in cricket but even in other sports...Star India’s unprecedented reach made the Rio 2016 Olympic Games the most epic sporting event in the history of viewing sports in India,” an official statement from Star quoted Star Sports CEO Nitin Kukreja as saying.

The immersive and data rich experience, backed by powerful visuals and marketing, has once again created history in terms of user delight, translating into the highest ever viewership of Olympics in India, Star claimed.

“As the official television broadcaster in India (the Olympics feed were shared with pubcaster Doordarshan by Star under stipulated regulations), Star Sports brought the game alive and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games was bigger than ever before with an unprecedented 191 million viewers (as per BARC data; CS 4+ Urban) tuning in to watch the games,” the Star statement stated, highlighting that two out of every three viewers tuned in to watch the mega event on the Star Sports network, thus “re-establishing its credentials as one of the leading sports networks in India capable of delivering national impact across geographies and demographics.”

Hotstar, the exclusive digital streaming partner in India for the Rio Games, providing round the clock coverage of the games with 14 live streams for sports fans, attracted nearly “70 per cent of the reach of television in affluent homes in the top 6 metros” delivering an incremental reach of almost 10 million viewers in India with viewers streaming almost an hour of the Games during the two weeks, propelling Olympics into the top brackets of sporting events covered online, Star said.

The standout highlight of the tournament was when India came together to watch the thrilling badminton women’s singles final between PV Sindhu and Spain’s Carolina Marin.

The gruelling gold medal encounter garnered 17.2million impressions (again BARC data), making it the highest viewed TV programme on that day. It was also the highest rated non-cricket game on any sports network since the inception of BARC. On Hotstar, more than 5 million viewers tuned in to watch the match live, unprecedented for any event outside of international cricket, Star statement added.

According to Hotstar CEO Ajit Moha, “As the world celebrated its sports champions, Hotstar enabled an experience that was unprecedented for sports fans not just in India but anywhere in the world: free access to almost every single moment of the Olympics fans with big moments being curated and showcased on the platform round the clock. Olympics allowed us to showcase our mission of building India’s most exciting content destination on demand.”

With Star Sports channels showing various disciplines of Rio Games, including one channel dedicated to Hindi commentary, Star also undertook a massive campaign #IsseBadaKuchNahi ( nothing is bigger than this) focused on the stature of the Olympics as well as the medal prospects from India.

Star Sports, which has some premier sporting properties in its portfolio, has been creating a multi-sport ecosystem in India. In 2016, from the ICC World T20 to Seasons 3 & 4 of Pro Kabaddi to the recently concluded Olympics, with each of these events delivering in excess of 175 million audiences at an all-India level (Source: BARC). Further in the year ahead, Star Sports has a multi-sport calendar coming up, consisting of 2016 Kabaddi World Cup in Ahmedabad, the international cricket season at home for team India and the Indian Super League.

Hotstar, having already established itself as the premier digital sports destination in India, offered the widest possible coverage of all 42 sports with over 3000 hours of live coverage on the web, and 14+ streams running on the app all day. Its communication was focused on the massive choice it offered sports fans, with access to every moment of the Olympics and the convenience of watching live games or catching up on big performances any time of the day.

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